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4 min read

The Mental Meditation Palace: A Meditation Method For Overthinkers

In May 2022, a supercomputer called Frontier - the fastest computer in the world, was completed after a year of development. Hewlett Packard Enterprises, its creator, made headlines by demonstrating that Frontier has finally reached the legendary benchmark processing speed of 1 exaflop/second - over five quintillion operations per second.

Frontier cost $600 million to build, and occupies a 7,300 square-foot warehouse in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. With 50,000 highly sensitive computational components on board, it consumes enough energy every day to power 20,000 homes. It takes 6,000 gallons of water per minute to keep the massive array of technology from melting.

Pretty impressive stuff. Except, not really.

The human brain occupies a space the size of a half-finished loaf of sourdough. It's totally free to use, and since it doesn't heat up when in use, the only water it needs is a glass here and there - or maybe some Gatorade. It can be powered by an apple. And perhaps some of that aforementioned sourdough.

Oh, and it's been cranking out 1 exaflop/second for a hundred thousand years.

Plus, unlike a supercomputer, your brain can and does constantly change its hardware to make you smarter based on your needs and environment.

Given the fact that the brain outperforms the world's collective best effort for building a competitor by such a significant margin, it's totally forgivable that it has one flaw: the notoriously unreliable off-button.

This is the nature of overthinking. Our brains are so miraculously efficient and capable, that sometimes it's hard to turn it off.

Luckily, if you're a chronic overthinker, there are a few methods you can use to trick your brain into slowing down. One of them is meditation.

The following is a step-by-step guide to utilizing meditation for overthinking, as well as a method for maximizing your meditation's effectiveness: building a personal meditation palace.

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How To Meditate for Overthinking

How To Create Your Personal Meditation Palace

Therapy for Anxiety and Overthinking in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Therapy Group

How To Meditate for Overthinking

Meditation is an extremely old practice. Traditionally, meditation has been a religious activity—a way to get closer to enlightenment and a full understanding of our existence. Zen Buddhist meditation, for example, involves measured breathing and specific seating instructions to guide practitioners into a state of non-thought.

Modern meditation is typically defined separately from religious forms of meditation, which should be acknowledged out of respect for those who practice them.

Modern secular meditation is flexible, giving us the opportunity to create new meditation techniques for specific problems like overthinking. That's what we've done here.

First, let's go over a simple step-by-step guide to the best meditation method for overthinkers. Then, we'll cover a unique method you can use to maximize its effectiveness in reducing your overthinking.

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Put on comfortable clothes.

Preferably with elastic properties. The goal is to make your clothes as unnoticeable as possible. This step isn't required, so no worries if you're at work without a change of clothes: you can still do this form of meditation.

Next, take 30 seconds to breathe deeply.

Five seconds in through your nose, hold it for just a second, and then let it out over five seconds through your mouth. This gives your brain more oxygen, which activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating the brain's speed and intensity.

Start counting your breaths.

Your goal is to count your breaths in a very specific way. Breathe in, and count "one." Breathe out, and count "two." In. Three. Out. Four. And so on. Once you get to 10, start back at one for the next breath. The point here is to give your brain something to concentrate on besides your stressors.

Thoughts will continue to cross your mind. That's okay.

Stay focused on counting and try to keep the meditation process front and center. Any thoughts that arise should be acknowledged and then allowed to pass.

By the way, you'll probably get to around five and then get distracted. That's part of the process, so don't worry about it. If you find yourself forgetting to count, or counting to over ten, just reset your posture and start again from one. After several attempts, your brain will likely start to fall back under some semblance of control.

This meditation method is good, but it can be really hard to maintain - especially in an environment with distractions.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of your meditation, you should consider building an imaginary personal meditation palace.

How To Create Your Personal Meditation Palace

If you're really struggling to stay focused and count your breaths, or if you want to reduce your overthinking even more, you can use your imagination to create a personal meditation palace.

personal meditation palace

Imagine you're sitting at a table in the highest room of a peaceful mountaintop palace. With four thick columns supporting its ancient, hand-crafted roof, you can see the thousands of sprawling, unnamed mountains stretching to infinity in all four directions.

Imagine the sights, smells, and sounds. The birds boasting beautifully in the trees; a gentle wind tussling your hair; the smell of pine and old stone.

In front of you on the table is a large, beautifully bound book. Inside, all of the pages are blank. On your dominant side is a paint brush sitting in a small pot of black paint.

As you breathe, imagine that for each number you count, you are to paint it in one stroke upon the pages of the book - large, such that each page contains just one number.

Breathe in and paint the number 1. Turn the page slowly, breathe out, and paint the number 2. Time your strokes such that the beginning of your breath coincides perfectly with the brush touching the paper, and that your breath finishes just as the brush leaves the paper.

Your paint brush is magical and ancient, and it never runs out of paint. Each number you paint is as thick and dark as the last.

Once you get to 10, just turn the page and do number 1 again, this time a little smoother than before.

If you can get deep enough into this sort of "mental meditation palace", your brain will have a lot of trouble focusing on anything except perfecting your painted numbers.

You now know one of the best methods of meditation for overthinking. If you're still struggling with spiraling thoughts and can't find peace through meditation, don't worry: there are other things you can try. Therapy is one of them.

Therapy for Anxiety and Overthinking in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Therapy Group

Much overthinking stems from underlying issues like trauma or anxiety. Talk therapy can be a tremendously effective way to reduce the impact of these underlying issues.

Our team of Brooklyn anxiety therapists, all doctoral-level, is uniquely equipped to help. Call us, and our patient coordinator will help you find the right therapist for you.

Book a Therapy Session in NYC Today

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